As reported in the last issue, only two nominations were received for the RCVS Veterinary Nurses Council this year, and as there were only two places up for contest, there will be no VN Council election.

The two places will be filled by Hilary Orpet and Suzanne May. Hilary is a lecturer in veterinary nursing at the Royal Veterinary College, and will start her second four-year term on Council. Suzanne is head of the Veterinary Nursing Approved Centre and senior lecturer at Harper Adams University College.

Newcomer Suzanne May

“Although I am delighted that Hilary remains on Council, and look forward to welcoming Suzanne, I am disappointed that so few VNs took the opportunity to stand for election. For VN Council to remain relevant to all VNs, it is important that as many VNs as possible, including those working in practices large and small, engage with the political process,” commented Liz Branscombe, chairman of the VN Council.

The pair will take up their positions formally on RCVS Day on 2nd July. If you have any ideas about how to encourage nominations for Council next year, let us know on

‘Meet the RCVS’ Day

One of the reasons people may feel unsure about standing for VN Council is a lack of understanding about what VNC actually does – and how the RCVS works as a whole. We hold regular open days at Belgravia House in London to give small groups of VNs, vets, practice managers and others involved in the veterinary world an insight into what goes on.

A ‘Meet the RCVS Day’ starts with a presentation from the RCVS president, then a tour round the College to meet heads of department and understand how activities such as registration, regulation and training are managed and carried out. A nice lunch is provided – and we pay reasonable travel expenses.

To encourage more VNs to take part, VN Council members will also attend the next event – on 23rd June. What are you waiting for? Sign up by e-mailing Lydia Meakin on

BSAVA – be there!

If you are going to the BSAVA Congress this year, do come and visit us on stand 911. Members of VN Council and the Veterinary Nursing Department will be on hand to answer your questions on the new qualifications, VN regulation and registration.

If you are interested in CPD or studying for a Diploma, have a chat to the RCVS Trust Library (stand 916) about membership – it’s free for VNs.

Plus join us in Hall 6 on Saturday 10th April for the following sessions:

   2pm – Falling on deaf ears? – hear how we took account of your views on consultations last year, including veterinary legislation, VN qualifications and practice standards, plus headline results from the Survey of the VN Profession.

   3.30pm – Launch of the new Practice Standards – a new Practice Standards Manual comes into force from 1st April. What’s changed? If you are involved with maintaining your RCVS accreditation, or thinking of joining the Scheme, this one’s for you.

   4.30pm – Q&A on the new VN qualification – does what it says on the tin!

And if listening to all that gets a bit heavy, pop back to the stand to play our ‘animal calls’ quiz – correctly identify three animal noises to be in with a chance of winning an iPod Nano.

• VOL 25 • No4 • April 2010 • Veterinary Nursing Journal